If you'd like to go into business with your significant other, we can tell you—from experience--that it's possible to run a successful business and a successful relationship at the same time. These are the eight ways we've found to ensure a strong working relationship with your spouse.
Have a solid foundation before you begin.
For a house to stand and stay standing for many years, the foundation must be concrete. For your body to be stable in a yoga pose, your feet must be firmly grounded into the earth. It’s no different with your business partnership. If your personal relationship is not solid, it’s not a great idea to go into business together.
We know you love each other, but do you like each other?
For a love/work relationship to blossom, you need to like spending a lot of time with your partner. Like your body, which is different every single day, each “day at the office” will be different. Some days there will be wins and some days there will be losses. There will be peaks and troughs, ups and downs, and you will have to weather it all side by side.
Know your limitations and you will be limitless.
Be totally open with each other and discuss your roles before you embark on your project. It is imperative that you are each aware of the other's strengths and weaknesses. Once you know your roles, you can have complete trust in what the other is doing at all times. Sometimes, neither one of you will have any idea what to do, which provides an opportunity to learn and grow together.
Book some time in and out.
It is important to having separate interests outside of your business or project. Make some time each week to hang out with a friend, see a film, or take a class. It is equally important to have an interest that you do together that is not related to the business. And we are not talking about going out for dinner (where you will likely talk about business), but something that you can both immerse yourselves in. It might be learning a new skill or an instrument or another language--whatever it is, make it yours and make the time for it.
Change is the only constant.
George Harrison said, “All things must pass” and he was so right. There will be tough times both emotionally and financially in business, and there are two great things about that. The first one is that you will have each other to lean on; the second is that nothing lasts forever. So never let issues with the business come between you. The problem won't last, so don't let it impact your personal relationship. Don’t forget that this includes the good times, too, so do your best to enjoy each success as it comes.
You can draw as many lines as you like, but your business will come home with you.
No matter how many people say that you won't or that you shouldn't, you will end up talking about business after hours, whether you like it or not. Sometimes you will need to make a pressing decision or finalize something together. Your business is a part of who you are, for the length of time that you are doing it. Be okay with that. Accept that it is part of your daily life, and then it becomes a natural part of your day and not a stressful part.
Lifestyle and personal happiness is just as important as financial success.
This is a very important question to ask yourselves. How do you measure success: is it by the balance of your bank account or the balance of your daily life? Once you’ve answered that question, there should be no problem making time for each other, your health and well-being, and your family and friends outside of your working day.
Last but by no means least, have a sense of lightness and humor.
Try not to take yourselves and your business too seriously. Of course you need to be serious sometimes, but with each other, keep it light. Life is an amazing opportunity for personal growth and to see the divine in all things—this is what we practice as Hatha yogis. So laugh together, brighten each other's day with a smile, and know that all is perfect just the way it is.
Paul and Michelle Macnamara are yoga teachers and self-made business owners. They are hardworking, passionate humans and have been married for eight years (and together as a couple for almost double that time). Together, with their small team, they run Jack the Snipper, an online men’s grooming brand based in Byron Bay, Australia. They are inspired by the traditional practices of Hatha Yoga and are currently living each day to its fullest.